Get Organized! How to Keep Track of your Medical Paperwork*

A handful of people braved the snow to participate in Puja Thomson’s practical workshop, Get Organized! How to Keep Track of Your Medical Paperwork at The Desmond Campus, Newburgh on November 27th, 2012.

Each class member brought an empty three-ring binder and filled it with material Puja Thomson provided: such as a copy of the already 3 hole-punched 87 page My Hope & Focus Organizer, extra dividers, named tabs, sheet protectors, and a business card holder sheet. Puja Thomson introduced guidelines and helpful hints to show the class how to divide the paperwork for each aspect of their health journey. This way they would have everything—their emergency contact information, professional team, medical history, questions for doctors and their answers, test/lab results, prescriptions, billing, insurance, family involvement, and other useful information—all at their fingertips!

Next, everyone got involved adding personal information to specific pages, such as emergency contacts, and began to work on their health history log, confident that they could complete the entries at home after the class.

Puja encouraged everyone to:  
·      Use only the pages that are relevant at any given time and come back to other details as needed later. Take breaks!
·      Change to a much bigger binder, or subdivide the information between several binders, as your info accumulatesso that, e.g, everything concerning medical visits is in one binder, while insurance and billing is in another. Place Resource information in folders in a file box on a shelf
·      Get help!
·      Put in place your health care Proxy and Living will immediately, even BEFORE illness knocks at your door, if you haven’t done so yet. (A good resource is  Five Wishes from
·      Remember! What matters is that YOU can find everything without fuss or stress.

It was well worth braving the elements! As one participant put it, “This course absolutely met my expectations. It was well-organized and informative. Having had a recent hospitalization and long illness, the paperwork has been overwhelming. Puja’s wonderful “My Hope & Focus Organizer”, the extra dividers, tabs and pages she provided along with her very clear guidelines were very helpful. I wish I had this information 8 months ago… I will use it and pass it on...”  Another found the organization ideas “original, detailed and useful.” And another shared that the “Questions to ask your doctor” were particularly valuable.

Written by Cynthia Stewart for Roots & Wings